The Prone Position
- The Prone Position
A new shooter might be forgiven for wondering how hard it can be to lie on the ground and hold a rifle. Lying down, pointing a rifle at a target and squeezing the trigger sounds like an easy thing to do. In reality, the position of the body in relation to the rifle, and to the target, takes a lot of work to get right and has a great affect on the quality of the shooting.
To give an example of how important body position is the shooter should bear in mind that they are trying to hit the very centre of a target that is somewhere between 15 yards and 100 yards away. The width of the centre of the target is so narrow that a small movement can result in missing the centre ring. For example, a 0.25mm movement in the position of the shooter becomes a 6mm movement at the target which, at 25 yards, is enough to drop 2 points out of a possible 10 on a single shot. Trying to hold anything steady within a tolerance of 0.25mm using the muscles in the arms is a difficult task, which is why the position and alignment of the body in relation to the target is very important.
There are three common variables in the prone shooting position: The angle at which the body is turned away from the line of fire, the position of the legs in relation to the line of the body and how far off the ground the torso is raised (upper body and arm placement). Varying the position of each of these things has different advantages and the shooter must find, through practice, the combination that suits them best.
Practice Exercise for the Prone Position
Click here to visit our section on practice exercises for the prone position
The Information and images in these sections are taken directly from the early chapters in Smallbore Rifle Shooting: A Practical Guide (with permission from the author)
The book goes into each topic in greater depth than we cover on this site. For more detailed information on the book and how to buy it click here